In details

Toxin



Snake venom: large amount of toxins

What is toxin

Toxin is a poisonous substance produced through the metabolic activity of certain living organisms such as bacteria, insects, plants and reptiles.

Knowing the toxins (characteristics and important information):

Some bacteria secrete toxins in the colonizing tissues, these are true toxins. Others retain most of the toxic material inside and only release it when they are disintegrated by chemical, physical or mechanical means. Moreover, of the bacterial toxins, the characteristic poisons produced by some plants are called phytotoxins, and the poisons of animal origin are called zootoxins.

The most important true toxins that cause disease in humans are those of botulism, tetanus, dysentery and diphtheria. Due to their high susceptibility to various chemical and physical influences such as light, heat or elapsed time, toxins are difficult to isolate, which makes it necessary to study their "in vivo" effects.

Although all toxins are harmful substances, they are only effective when chemically interacting with animal cells. Gastrointestinal juices destroy them with the exception of botulism toxin. Their exact chemical nature is not known, but they are believed to be very similar to proteins, and also to bear great resemblance to enzymes.

Within some organisms, toxins may give way to antibody formation. Toxoids are toxins treated to destroy the toxic effect of toxins, but they are quite potent to the point of generating antibodies when injected into the body.

IMPORTANT: The information on this page is only a source for research and school work. Therefore, they should not be used for medical advice. To do so, see a doctor for guidance and proper treatment.